GOP Gerrymandering Targeting Black Voters Struck Down

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In South Carolina’s 1st congressional district, a deep red district comfortably won by Republicans for years prior to the midterms during Donald Trump’s presidency, an upset election occurred in 2018 when Democrat Rep. Joe Cunningham narrowly defeated his Republican opponent to narrowly take the House seat. In 2020, Republican Rep. Nancy Mace defeated him, but only by 1.3 points.

The district then drew new congressional maps and Mace won in 2020 by a much wider margin: 14 points. That congressional map came under review, and Republican lawmakers in the district are unlikely to be happy about it.

A panel of three judges on the federal bench determined that the maps were drawn specifically to dilute the voting power of black residents of the state; in fact, 30,000 black residents in Charleston County, a much more blue district, were shifted in the newly drawn map to a whiter, more conservative district. The judges determined that this could not be “a coincidence.”

The judges stated expressly in their ruling that the move was intended to reduce the representation of black Americans in the state. They wrote in that ruling, according to The Hill:

‘After carefully weighing the totality of evidence in the record and credibility of witnesses, the Court finds that race was the predominant motivating factor in the General Assembly’s design of Congressional District No. 1 and that traditional districting principles were subordinated to race.’

Republican lawmakers now have until March 31 to submit a new map. In the meantime, no elections may be held.

The ACLU, who brought the case before the court, argued the case as a violation of the Fourteen Amendment, which states that “no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”

Twitter had their own thoughts about the news of the gerrymandered district map and its legal shut down in court. Read some of their comments below:

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